A survey conducted by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, entitled "The network of global corporate control", recently published in the New Scientist magazine under the title "The capitalist network that runs the world", has shown that 147 companies worldwide are able to control 40 percent of all the financial power, dictating the rules of the market and stifling competition and states.
This global network of financial power, made up of banks and multinationals, exercises what is often a disproportionate degree of control, whose effects could be extremely damaging to the world economy.
The survey revealed that these links between companies can be beneficial to the stability of the whole system in an initial phase of economic growth. But at times of crisis, such as the present, these links can be extremely dangerous because, as with all concentrations of power, the collapse of one company can trigger a chain reaction with potentially disastrous effects on the global economy, and even threaten the stability of nation states and governments.
All this can slowly transform democracy into a form of government in which citizens' rights and duties are determined according to their wealth, and contribute to eroding democratic policies and decisions.
In order to avoid serious repercussions on the global markets, the Council of Europe must constantly keep these surveys under its scrutiny, investigate the impact of economic concentrations and financial speculation, and promote measures to encourage the development of democracies in such a fraught environment.